This Is Not Who You Are

Wednesday 5 December, 2018

The words came when she asked me how I wanted to be in the third meeting. We agreed on open, loving and calm. She wrote them on my hand because it was far from certain whether I could embody them. I was still smouldering on the inside, struggling to extricate my Self from myself. As it turned out, it was a breeze. The reflection session went very well.

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Remember Your Starting Point

Thursday 29 November, 2018

During the whole episode, I was not the only one to question whether it is even possible to change oneself. It’s an obvious and natural question to ask when we fall back so heavily into the habits we say we wish to change. The question feels loaded, as if there is only one conclusion: No, it isn’t possible. No wonder I had such a strong urge to walk away during those two weeks. But there is another perspective: This is a lifelong process, there is always work to be done, and (believe it or not) you are progressing every day. Seen in that way, it helps enormously to remember where you started.

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Another Step Forward

Wednesday 28 November, 2018

The anger turned to sadness, but still there seemed no way out. There was some shame, too, as there always is, because as hard as I work and as long as I have been focused on improvement, such lapses as I describe in the previous post, always make me wonder whether I am actually getting anywhere. This post and the three which follow are meant to record, in case I doubt myself again, that I am getting somewhere. They also detail how written reflection and a well-intentioned, open discussion are key to dispelling the clouds which obscure the purity of who we truly are.

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It All Feels So Real

Saturday 24 November, 2018

I was caught out again recently; dragged once more, over the course of two discussions, into the world of emotions. They are so unbelievably real at the time. There seems no room for anything else apart from the strength of feeling and the conviction of thoughts which support and perpetuate. When the fog lifts and the chance comes to reflect, it is clear just how tricky it can be to remain centred in the Self when the pull of worldly existence is so convincingly real.

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Five Years Later

Sunday 30 September, 2018

When I began, there was no thought about making it beyond the first 100 days. However, the more I carried on, the more inevitable it became. Each milestone made it easier to continue, and each played its part in carrying me to where I am now, five years later. I have recorded my progress on two previous occasions. (See ‘300 Days’ and ‘One Thousand Days’.) What follows are my latest observations of what I have gained from doing a 25-minute exercise routine every day for 1,829 days.

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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Eleven Days In La La Land

Thursday 12 January, 2017

For a number of reasons I was drawn to watch the same film again and again. Five times in eleven days, in fact. La La Land is a hugely uplifting film imbued with the innocence of love, the naivety of dreams, and the single-minded determination which passion for anything brings. I found myself crying and laughing simultaneously, tapping my feet from the very start, and captivated throughout. I lost myself in the unspoken force of facial expressions, was touched deeply by the songs and the sentiment, and smiled with my whole body at the uncomplicated beauty of love and life. But this post is not about the film; it’s about what happens when you watch something closely and repeatedly. One’s own life, for example.

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And So It Continues…

Monday 8 August, 2016

How you choose to see life makes a difference to your perception of yourself, the world, and your place in it. Your outlook and attitude define the qualities you attribute to the whole of existence. They affect how you think and feel, and, therefore, every experience you have. For example, if you choose to believe in coincidences, life takes on a more random quality as different events simply collide without reason or purpose. In those instances the assumption is that if there is any control over what happens, it is beyond us; aspects of our fate are decided elsewhere.

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Separate Out The Emotions

Tuesday 8 July, 2014

Recent journal posts (from 11 years ago) highlight my inability to verbalise effectively or even appropriately. It had been a constant theme throughout my training and yet here I was still unable to do it when I really needed to. My Englishness, shyness, and please others driver were all limiting factors in this endeavour, but that does not explain how, after years of training, I was still struggling to voice where I was. Reading those entries again, it’s clear to me that the main problem was always the emotions.

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Stay Grounded

Thursday 21 November, 2013

Two things are likely to happen as we progress with our personal development (actually, as we progress with anything). First we get excited, then we stop doing what worked for us in the first place. This post is about the excitement of progress, how important it is to enjoy it and celebrate as much as we can, but also keep our feet on the ground. It is written primarily for a friend, so I don’t have to keep reminding him to do what he knows he needs to do. But it’s also for the rest of us because when our excitement gives rise to complacency we begin to undo all our good work.

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Riding & Surviving The Waves

Wednesday 25 September, 2013

I’m not a surfer, but I write this from Santa Cruz, California where surfing is everywhere. During my visit here to see a close friend, I read a book he gave me, written by a local surfing legend, Frosty Hesson. The book, Making Mavericks, contains a number of important lessons which the author identified on his way through life, and which he has passed on to many aspiring surfers over the years in order to help them become not just better surfers, but also better human beings. This post touches on what that story has taught me.

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Life In The Middle

Monday 18 February, 2013

Many years ago a colleague of mine talked to me about living life along a steady, unmoving line between the emotional highs and lows I seemed addicted to at the time. They manifested themselves most noticeably in the weekly rhythm of Fridays and Mondays, fuelling each other in a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. The purity of the joy I felt on a Friday afternoon, with the whole weekend ahead of me, would be matched 2½ days later by the despondency of a Monday morning; the weekend banished to a memory and my mood compounded by having to face another five days before I could feel that joy again.

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What Are You Going To Do About It?

Thursday 7 February, 2013

It was one of the most powerful questions I heard during my personal development training. We were always being told to verbalise whatever was going on inside, but not to indulge too much in the emotions attached to our issue. If such indulgences went too far the question ‘What are you going to do about it?‘ would snap us back to the practicalities of what to do next.

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Remembering Why I’m Here

Saturday 18 October, 2003

Experiment in Self Healing Community (Karaj, Dev, George, Michelle, Priya, Ishwar, Harriet, Imogen and myself). I went down a little with each of Karaj’s asides. At various times he told people I am petty, passive, and that I do not trust him. Although each of these comments got to me, they did not rock me too much. Karaj is acting in my best interests and I also want people to know who I am. I need to find a way to concentrate on my positives. Karaj told Dev, ‘You are like Jonathan. You’ve done well, relax and you’ll learn even more, instead of trying to sort things out.’

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